Rochester for All calls on the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency to reject tax abatements for a project owned by Morgan Management.
COMIDA is holding a public hearing on Monday for 4000 River Road LLC, a student apartment building in Henrietta. COMIDA is meeting the following day, presumably to vote on the deal. Morgan proposes renovating the existing complex and constructing a new, 81-unit building. Morgan acquired the property from Rochester Institute of Technology last year and obtained a $5.1 million mortgage.
Details on the cost of the new project and value of tax abatements aren’t available on the COMIDA website, making it difficult for the public to provide comment at the hearing. Rochester for All has previously called on COMIDA to make this information public before hearings.
Even without crucial information about the project and incentives, the proposal raises two critical questions. First, should the county be giving mortgage, sales and property tax abatements to a company under investigation for mortgage fraud, including potentially fleecing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Second, what is the risk to taxpayers if Morgan goes under and the properties enter foreclosure or deteriorate?
“Given the fact there have been several arrests, and the investigation is continuing, it makes sense to hit the pause button,” Rochester for All Director Rachel Barnhart said. “There are ethical and practical questions.”